The first real memory Jax has is from when he was five years old. It was March 2356, and Peter and Colleen took him to Dublin for a Monihan family reunion.
Colleen and her brother Tom- Jax's father- had both been born in Paris, but their mother Molly had been born a Monihan. And so the DeSabels (and Colleen and Peter Allain) had spent plenty of time in Dublin.
They stayed at the Fourth O' March, a pub that was run by Jax's great-uncle Travis Monihan and his wife Shanna. Travis had inherited the place from his parents, Sean Monihan Sr. and Maggie. Travis and Shanna had a son named Tristan, who was married to Tracy McKay. They had a son named Jacen who was about Jax's age, who lived above the Fourth O' March with his grandparents, Travis and Shanna, because his parents, like Jax's, were often away in space. Tristan was in the TDF (Terran Defense Force), and Tracy worked on a merchant ship. Whenever they weren't working, they had their own room at the Fourth. During this visit, Jax stayed in Jacen's room.
Jax also met Molly and Travis's sister Christie and her husband DaBruce Kallerinth. DaBruce was Centaurian. Christie and DaBruce had a daughter, Denise Kallerinth, who was married to Jaak Luukarn. They were Jax's godparents. They had visited Jax and his family in Paris sometimes, and Jax called them GM and GD for GodMom and GodDad. Grandma Molly and Grandpa Hercule, from Paris, were there too. Jax's parents, Carol and Tom, also showed up for the reunion.
Molly, Travis, and Christie had another brother, Sean Jr., who wasn't there, but Jax heard about him while he was in Dublin, though no one told him much. Apparently there was some degree of secrecy about his work- although Christie worked with him- and this mystery made Jax anxious to find out about him. All Molly would say was that she'd seen little of him since she moved to Paris many years ago. Travis and Shanna said Sean was around the pub sometimes, and they'd sometimes see him talking with some of their shadier clientele. And that was all they knew. "Don't ask me, my lovely wife tells me nothing about that side of her life," DaBruce told Jax with a grin. So Jax set about pestering Aunt Christie to tell him about Uncle Sean. Usually she'd just smile for a few moments, then change the subject.
The family reunion lasted the whole month of March. Uncle Sean was there briefly on the Fourth, after which Jax first started pestering everybody about him. Sometimes Jacen made up stories about him, just to make Jax happy- and to get him to shut up for a little while (of course, Jacen was almost as curious about his uncle as was Jax). Jax knew they were just stories, but they only served to further pique his interest.
Uncle Sean was also there on the Seventeenth, again briefly. But at least Jax got to see him, though he'd been instructed by his elders not to pester him too much.
On the morning of the 25th, Jax got up and went to breakfast. First thing he did when he sat down at the table was to ask Aunt Christie to tell him about Uncle Sean, as usual. And, as usual, she just smiled... but then she said, "Why don't you ask him for yourself?"
Just then, Uncle Sean came downstairs and sat at the table to eat. Christie, Sean, and Jax were the only three up this early. "Uncle Sean! What're you doing here?"
"Finished up some business yesterday, got in late last night, after you were asleep. I'll be stayin' here the rest o' th' month."
"Really. Could ya pass th' jelly, lad?"
Jax passed the jelly, which reminded him that he meant to be eating, himself. But he spent at least as much time asking questions as eating. "What sort of business, anyway?"
"What sort of business did you finish yesterday?"
"Oh, tha'. Nothin', really. Th' usual."
"But what's usual for you?"
"Hmmm? Oh, I dinnae. Ask Christie." and he smiled at his sister, who smiled back.
"But she said to ask you!"
Uncle Sean threw Christie a questioning glance, saying, "Did she now?"
"Well, y'wanna know wha' I think, lad?"
"I think y'should keep yer questions down. Y'll wake th' whole house."
"Soooorry," said Jax, more impatient than apologetic. But he did lower his voice a bit below conversational level- certainly below what it had been. "But what do you do?"
"For a living?"
"Oh, for a livin'. Well, now, tha's a secret, in't, Christie?" he said, again glancing at his sister. They were both enjoying this a lot more than Jax was.
"Yeah, 'tis, Sean." Then she lowered her voice even below Jax's recently hushed tone. "But I'm sure th' boy wouldn' tell, hmmm?"
"Noooo," said Jax, shaking his head as somberly as a five year old could manage.
"Well, then, if yer sure I kin trust ya..."
And just then, Peter came down to eat. "Morning, all," he said.
"Mornin', Petey," murmured Christie and Sean. Then Sean looked at Jax, carried his gaze toward Peter, then back to Jax. He made a zipper & lock motion across his lips, and threw away the key. He glanced at Christie, who smiled as Sean took a sip of his coffee...
grade school years